My Lemon Cake Fell Apart While Cutting It!

Decorating By mareg Updated 13 Dec 2009 , 1:53pm by JenniferMI

mareg Posted 1 Dec 2009 , 5:37am
post #1 of 30

I made a WASC-lemon flavor cake for someone this past weekend. She said the Pumpkin spice cake was fine, but the lemon crumbled when she sliced it. icon_eek.gif What could be the problem?? I did notice that it was not as dense as I usually have my WASC cakes. Any opinions or help??

Thanks!! thumbs_up.gif

29 replies
350BakerStreet Posted 1 Dec 2009 , 5:56am
post #2 of 30

I can't imagine what problem it could be, since it could be one or a combination of things that caused the could have dried out; the fondant or icing could have been too thick causing the cake to squish out; perhaps she went at it with a chain saw instead of a bread/cutting knife icon_wink.gif

I'm sorry that this happened to you...I'm sure next time will be better icon_smile.gif

PS-nice to meet a fellow Californian, tee hee

mareg Posted 1 Dec 2009 , 6:12am
post #3 of 30

Thanks 350Bakerstreet. I made a Pumpkin spice cake for her at the same time and she said that one was fine. WASC has been amazing for me and I just can't figure out why it did that.

Oh well....I'll have to be more aware of the next lemon WASC cake I make!

Are you in Calif or Utah? Former Californain? icon_smile.gif

350BakerStreet Posted 1 Dec 2009 , 6:17am
post #4 of 30

Being in the high altitude, WASC hasn't been my favorite recipe, but I have altered it to make it work. Obviously, the flavors are different, but was there any significant difference in either the wet or dry ingredients (i.e. pumpkin puree added) ?

Yes, sadly, I'm a former Californian icon_sad.gif I grew up in Palm Springs so I know exactly where Corona is. We passed it all the time getting to my grandma's house in Anaheim. Good times...wish I was home now.

TexasSugar Posted 1 Dec 2009 , 3:37pm
post #5 of 30

Maybe the pumpkin cake was a denser cake, and that is why it held together better.

What kind of knife did she cut it with? Was it covered in Fondant? Just thinking out loud.

sadsmile Posted 1 Dec 2009 , 3:44pm
post #6 of 30

I wonder if she wiped the knife off in between cuts or did the cake clinging onto the knife drag the cake apart.

-K8memphis Posted 1 Dec 2009 , 4:06pm
post #7 of 30

Did you season it in the frige or freezer?? Was it too fresh??
Perhaps the formula got inadvertently tweaked or something.

Just some brainstorm type ideas.

jjkarm Posted 1 Dec 2009 , 4:19pm
post #8 of 30

I'm glad you posted this because I just had the same thing happen this past weekend. I made a carved football helmet cake out of WASC lemon cake. Like the OP said, I also noticed the cake didn't seem as dense as other WASC flavors I've made. I let it set in the freezer for a couple days hoping that might help. When I started to carve the helmet shape it began falling apart. What a disastrous mess.... icon_cry.gificon_cry.gificon_cry.gif crumbled cake everywhere! The bottom layer pretty much fell apart and disappeared. icon_mad.gif (Luckily this cake was for a family member so I didn't panic.)

I ended up literally squishing and molding the crumbs into a layer of cake with my hands. (Talk about a smash cake.... hahaha icon_rolleyes.gif) After all was said and done the cake looked great, but now I really worry about using WASC lemon cake again. I've never had a WASC cake act like this before. Was I just having a bad day, or could the lemon do something to the recipe???

-K8memphis Posted 1 Dec 2009 , 4:20pm
post #9 of 30

What's the recipe?

jjkarm Posted 1 Dec 2009 , 5:39pm
post #10 of 30

Here's the recipe I used:

1 lemon cake mix
1 C flour
2/3 C sugar
3/4 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t baking powder
1/3 +1/2 C frozen lemon concentrate
1/2 C water
1 C sour cream
3 eggs
2 T oil
1/2 T princess emulsion

350BakerStreet Posted 1 Dec 2009 , 5:50pm
post #11 of 30

I'm no chemist, but perhaps you can sub the concentrate for milk and a bit of lemon emulsion...might make it more dense. I have to play with recipes a lot because of the altitude difference here. I think I'm about 4700 ft.

350BakerStreet Posted 1 Dec 2009 , 5:52pm
post #12 of 30

PS- You're very talented jj! Where do you hail from? I'm in Payson

jjkarm Posted 1 Dec 2009 , 6:19pm
post #13 of 30

Hey 350!

I'm not too far from you... I'm in American Fork. Thanks for the kind words, you're too nice. I love your frog cake and the way the "kelp" comes up the sides.

I have to tweak my recipes as well, I'm at 4600 feet. If I don't do some adjusting to the recipe, my WASC comes out a gummy sticky mess!

350BakerStreet Posted 1 Dec 2009 , 7:52pm
post #14 of 30

Yay! Another Utah County resident! Whoot! Thanks you also, for the kind words icon_smile.gif I think my WASC has about 7-8 egg whites to make it soft but still usable, but I have to flour the pans really really good and use parchment circles so the bottoms don't stick.

2SchnauzerLady Posted 1 Dec 2009 , 8:20pm
post #15 of 30

I used this recipe for a lemon WASC last week - it held up well, but I didn't have any carving to do, It was a simple 2 layer cake. This is Macsmom's recipe but I wrote in the changes I made. I used lemon extract since I didn't have any lemon cake mix and the store was out of it. You high altitude dwellers will need to make your own adjustments as I have never lived at a high altitude!

2 white cake mix
2 c cake flour
2 c - minus 2tbls - sugar
1 ½ t salt
1 t baking soda
2 2/3 cups Simply Lemonade
2 c lemon yogurt
6 eggs
¼ c oil
1 T lemon extract

-K8memphis Posted 2 Dec 2009 , 4:14am
post #16 of 30

Are you light one egg--or do you delete an egg for high altitude? If there's no high altitude issue add an egg in there. Might hold it together better?

And hey--I use self rising flour when I make wasc. All you have to measure is the flour--the salt, baking powder and baking soda is all included in one measuring cup.

luvmysmoother Posted 2 Dec 2009 , 4:38am
post #17 of 30

I once used a boxed lemon cake that was a month past the expiry (just for home use to get rid of it rather than throw it out) and it was also a crumbler - It couldn't even handle a medium thick layer of buttercream - fell apart like a dry snowballicon_smile.gif To make a lemon cake I'd prefer to use a white cake mix and add the lemon juice, lemon pudding flavor to iticon_sad.gif

Rebealuvsweets Posted 2 Dec 2009 , 4:46am
post #18 of 30

What brand of cake mix did u use? I love Duncan Hines but, I do not like the lemon DH. It always seems to come out crumbly. I use the Betty Crocker whenever I need a lemon cake mix...

350BakerStreet Posted 2 Dec 2009 , 5:25am
post #19 of 30

Same here...I've had problems with Duncan Hines mixes and switched to Betty.

mwest110 Posted 2 Dec 2009 , 5:42am
post #20 of 30

I used the Amazing Lemon Cake recipe and loved it. I've had 3 people ask for it from just one party I made it for. Give it a try.

mommyle Posted 2 Dec 2009 , 6:02am
post #21 of 30

Boy, do I feel dumb. I've never added baking soda OR baking powder to my WASC. Should I be??? I have no idea what my altitude is. I'm in Calgary Alberta Canada.

I LOVE lemon WASC. I use a lemon mix, and I put Realmon lemon juice in it, too. I've never had a problem with the lemon. Although, it doesn't tend to rise as much as the others. Hmmm....

jjkarm Posted 2 Dec 2009 , 3:18pm
post #22 of 30

Rebea: I always use BC cake mixes.

luvmysmoother: I'd just bought the mix from the store so I doubt it was too old.

K-8: Adding another egg would probably help, I hadn't thought of that.

mwest110: I looked at the Amazing Lemon Cake recipe and noticed it included a package of pudding. I wonder if adding pudding would help firm my recipe up a little.

mommyle: I always include baking powder and cut back a little on the sugar to keep my WASC from getting too gummy. (One of the tips I learned here on CC. thumbs_up.gif ) If I don't do this... eating the cake is a lot like eating peanut butter! icon_confused.gif hahaha

Manotas Posted 2 Dec 2009 , 3:50pm
post #23 of 30

mommylee. I am in Calgary, AB too! Our altitude is 1049m.

I'm not an expert by anymeans, I actually just started cake baking and decorating this past August but I have never used baking soda or baking powder and never had a problem with it.

I will try next time and reduce the sugar to see the difference. Thanks for the tip jjkarm!

mareg Posted 2 Dec 2009 , 4:01pm
post #24 of 30

I used the WASC Lemon version only using a lemon cake mix too. I'm wondering if its the Lemon extract I used. It sort of fizzed wheni put it with the other ingredients. Maybe it broke down the other ingred. so it wasn't as dense. I have used WASC receipe for Many flavors and have never had this happen.

Peridot Posted 2 Dec 2009 , 4:02pm
post #25 of 30


Interesting about the baking powder and adding less sugar to WASC. What would be your standard guideline for any WASC when it comes to those ingredients. How much baking powder would you add and how much would you decrease the sugar by.


jjkarm Posted 2 Dec 2009 , 5:06pm
post #26 of 30

Peridot: I reduce the sugar by 1/3 to 1/2, and use 1/2 t baking powder. If you make a smaller batch of WASC using only 1 cake mix, decrease the baking powder to 1/4 t. It also helps some flavors to use half cake flour and half all purpose flour. (like chocolate cake)

I wish I could remember who first gave this tip so I could give them full credit, anyway.... thanks to you who ever you are! thumbs_up.gif

jjkarm Posted 2 Dec 2009 , 5:13pm
post #27 of 30

mareg: I didn't use lemon extract in my cake, but it sounds like our cakes had the same problem.... I wonder if the lemon cake mix just makes a more tender cake than some of the other flavors?????

-K8memphis Posted 2 Dec 2009 , 6:02pm
post #28 of 30

I haven't done this but I wanna suggest it for yahs.

Pierre Herme (famed French pastry genius) takes the zest of lemons and rubs it into sugar--no pith--no white stuff--just the lemon peel--and it 'activates' all the lemon oils in there--smells like lemon heaven--you know you're on the right track--then like I'd use the zest of two or three lemons into a white cake mix--well I guess that's kinda pricey but anyhow I bet it would make a killer lemon cake!!! Add some lemon juice--

And another thought on your original formula~~~

Plus don't forget sugar is considered a liquid in recipe making--that lemon concentrate has a ton of sugar huh--I think I'd ditch the water in that too.

Just some lemon-y thoughts for yah.

luvmysmoother Posted 4 Dec 2009 , 1:33am
post #29 of 30

I think my problem was that the mix was DH (not that it was just slightly past its prime) I have never bought DH lemon since - they make my favorite mixes but their lemon tastes really funky plus after that crumbling incident - I don't want to bother with it anymoreicon_smile.gif

JenniferMI Posted 13 Dec 2009 , 1:53pm
post #30 of 30

It's really hard to say, you could have left something out....

I would bake another layer and see how that one cuts. If it's good, you know you did SOMETHING different, but what is anyone's guess.

Jen icon_smile.gif

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